Please Come To The Period Party! Wait, What?

Please Come To The Period Party! Wait, What?


So, I got this in the mail the other day.

At first, I figured my girlie was pranking me. I mean, Janet is your standard working Mom of many. The kids are all in stuff like soccer and gymnastics. She belongs to the Junior League. We organize fundraisers together. I seized my phone.

“Hey, girl. Just got your invitation.”

“Oh, good! Can you and Zoe make it?”

“Um, what exactly is this?”

Pause. “A PERIOD party, silly!  To celebrate Emily Anne’s first menstruation.”

“I know I’ve been out of the girl loop with just having the twins for so long, but the period party thing.  Is this… done a lot?  Is this a thing?”

Impatient sigh. “Erin, you’re not going to be all immature about this, are you? Menarche is a crucial developmental step in a young woman’s life. She deserves to have her community gather round her and celebrate her fertility.”

I fought to swallow down a frantic giggle. “Where’s the gift registry?”

Janet hung up on me and I went over with pie to soothe her feelings. And she gave me permission to write about this because she knows I’m stupid and that you’ll agree with her.

So… this is a thing? We do this, now?


(image credit: Maxpixel)

“Please come to the Period Party!”

Anyone who’s been to Burning Man with me has already hung out with the “Goddess Girls.” They weave their own skirts and then they don’t wear them because they’re dancing nude under the full moon. Those girls? Oh, yes. They’re already on it. In fact, they engaged me in a discussion once about “syncing up” all the cycles of everyone in the house to “flow” at the same time. I have three sisters. That would have been Armageddon. I can hear the clip-clopping of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse just thinking about it.

But I guess I just never saw this coming into the mainstream. And the whole thing is fraught with confusion. Who do you invite to your little girl’s Menarche? Her gym class? Uncle Steve? Grandpa?

Look, I know a girl’s first menstruation is an important developmental step. And when it was my turn my Mom was great with a calm and matter of fact explanation of what was to come in my developing body. Then she threw me a box of feminine hygiene products. “Have at it, honey. Let me know if you have questions.” I was good. But if Mary Helen had tried to throw me a “Period Party” and I showed up to a house full of friends and relatives and a big cake, I would have walked back out the door and planted myself in the middle of I-15 at rush hour with the hope it would be over quickly.


Anyway, I’m going. And I’m taking Zoe. This will raise questions from my daughter about what “That is?” and I’ll answer them. But I’m secretly longing for the old days when I just had to find something in the Unicorn Poop toy aisle. Because I still can’t get anyone to tell me where Emily Anne is registered for a gift for the Period Party.

Does everyone do this? Am I just out of the loop on raising girls?

11 replies
  1. Katie
    Katie says:

    When our Girl Scout troop was done with fourth grade (10-11 years old), we had a mother/daughter “Puber-Tea” where a trained nurse came in and taught the girls about how their bodies would develop. It was just enough information, in a safe, trusting group, with lots of giggles and groans, and just enough privacy. My daughter agrees she would have been mortified to have had a Period Party.

  2. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    It was on an episode of Nip Tuc. The whole idea of a period party terrifies me. I would have never wanted one so I highly doubt that my children want one. What do you do at that type of celebration even?

  3. Diane
    Diane says:

    I’ve never heard of a “period party” before, but I did take my daughter out for lunch when she got her first period. It was just a private event between the two of us, and she was fine with it.
    I, too, remember how secretive and embarrassed everyone seemed to be about periods when I was young. (I cried when I got my first period, and my mom just handed me a box of pads.) So, I can understand why moms today want it to be a more positive event.

  4. Angie
    Angie says:

    I find this very odd. I am very open with my daughters. I have three of them. We talk about their bodies and development stages openly at home with out any shame. We have had many discussions and I know they feel very comfortable with their bodies. Are you going to have a party when their breasts start growing as well or when your son get some pube hairs? This is a pretty ridiculous thing to invite friends and family over for in my opinion. Poor girls. Lol

  5. Jessica Jackson
    Jessica Jackson says:

    I think that point is that starting your period shouldn’t be an embarrassing or shameful thing. It should be embraced and celebrated. Having a party for her little girl may teach her that she doesn’t need to be so guarded about it. Our society keeps teaching women that they should hide and be ashamed of their bodies and what they do because it’s awkward and should be kept secret. It’s just apart of life. I’m not saying that every event should be telecasted but I think it’s a good first step in showing her daughter that she doesn’t need to be ashamed that she is a woman and going through regular womanly things! It may teach her that she should be celebrated and proud that she is growing up. Having a celebration could teach her to be happy with her body and who she is, which may help her to have a more positive look towards her body in the future. Everyone needs that! I remember being so embarrassed that I started my period. Boys at school would make fun of girls and tease them for it! How ridiculous! Not too long after I started I realized how dumb it was that us girls were being secretive and embarrassed about something that is just natural. So I became very blunt about it. If I was cramping or needed supplies I just said it! Boys at school stopped teasing about it because i wasn’t bothered by it anymore I was proud of it.

  6. Stephanie Summers
    Stephanie Summers says:

    Sorry, but I find this odd. The last thing I want to do is “celebrate” during that time, I can only imagine how a young girl would feel. The maturation classes were awkward enough.

  7. Marian
    Marian says:

    No way. I’d never do that for/to my almost 12 year old daughter. But, I’ve heard of them before… always in jest.
    These are just as strange as “potty parties.” Publicly celebrating anyone’s body development stage(s) in a group event just doesn’t make sense to me.

  8. Tricia
    Tricia says:

    My Zoe is 14. Fearing I had been remiss as a mother for not celebrating her big step, I just discussed this with her. Reaction: facepalm, repeatedly. She also confirmed that while all of her friends had passed that milestone, not once have we been invited to such a celebration. The notion that a girl should have friends and family celebrate her fertility was met with, “No she shouldn’t. Why? If you had done that….” She didn’t finish the thought out loud, but I got the feeling that her fertility would have been a moot point as she’d never leave her cave and venture out into society again.


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